Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., laid out a vision for “the three dimensions of a complete life” in his very first sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. As many US businesses close today in honor of his legacy, we’re pleased to share B Lab co-founder Jay Coen Gilbert’s reflection on how the conscious business movement is embodying that legacy. He writes:

“The inward concern of a business is for its own personal welfare, namely its profits — in King’s words, it’s Length. Indeed, without profits the length of the life of a business will be short. If you want your business to have a long life, be profitable.

The outward concern of a business is its concern for the welfare of others, the people — in King’s words, its Breadth. The breadth of a business ought to be measured by how it extends its concerns beyond those of its owners to those of its workers, its suppliers, its customers, and to all the people who are touched by the business.

Lastly, the upward concern of a business — or in King’s words, its Height — might be reflected in its concern for the rest of God’s Creation, the environment. This concern might exist not simply to steward the resources of our planet for our own profitable use over time, but to do so for its own sake, its own beauty, and to safeguard that beauty so that it can be enjoyed by our children’s children.”

Read the full post: “MLK’s Triple-Bottom Line: The Length, Breadth and Height of a Complete Life and Business

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